How Did I Get Here?

So you may be wondering how this website came to be. I am sitting here wondering the same thing myself.

In all honesty, I’m just like so many of you. I may or may not sit around all day in my favorite GAP joggers, grumble about the never ending mound of dishes that need to be done, and occasionally shed a tear that This Is Us is ending next season (whyyyyyy). No? Just me?

I have never once in my entire life thought, “I really need to start a blog!” This is majorly outside of my comfort zone. Level 10. I don’t even consider myself a “home decor” person. And now here I am with a home decor blog. 😂 If you would have asked me a few weeks ago where I would be now, I would have NEVER guessed I would be right here in this moment. I literally have butterflies in my stomach as I sit here typing this.

It all started on February 27, 2021, the day I discovered the Serena and Lily outlet in Vacaville, CA. Truth be told, I was very unfamiliar with this beautiful store. It only came on my radar because of several home décor social media groups I am apart of and the constant posting of their items, including how to obtain pieces or even “dupes” more affordably. My sister mentioned in passing that there was a Serena and Lily outlet a whopping 20 minutes from me. I knew I had to go see what all the fuss was about.

And, you GUYS. I HAD NO IDEA! It was all so stunning, but, moreover, AFFORDABLE! Most items are 50% or more off retail price, which can still be pretty pricy at times, if I am being honest. The kicker here was the chair and stool pop up next door inside the vacant building. What were the prices, you ask? Drum roll please:

I walked out of the store with some adorable Tucker dining chairs, still totally unaware of the gold mine I had stumbled into. While I was there, I was debating if I wanted to get some of the Balboa dining chairs as well, but decided against it. After all, they were $89. When I got home I decided to look the chairs up to see their retail price. The first search pulled up, what appeared to be, the Balboa for $198. I thought this was the price of the chair. IT WAS THE PRICE OF JUST THE CUSHION (watch my frugal corpse fall to the ground).

If you are new to Serena and Lily, like myself just a few short months ago, that Balboa you see listed at the top? That stool plus the cushion retails for (up to) $1,116 on their website. It is right here… at this outlet… for $89 (and includes the cushion for free! 😱) If you need to reread that part, feel free to do so at this time.

Of course once I realized what I had discovered, I immediately went back and snatched up some of the Balboa dining chairs as well. What started as a journey for me to get 4 new chairs eventually turned into 12 (because I obviously need some back up chairs. Because… Kids, amiright? Ironic story on that later…)

In my excitement of finding perhaps the deal of the century, I took to my home décor social media groups and shouted from the virtual rooftops every single detail of this fantastic deal. The chaos that has since ensued is quite astounding.

Suddenly I went from barely knowing this particular company to being looked at as some sort of local outlet expert. I was getting tons of messages and tagged comments for weeks after posting, begging for updates. So I posted about it again. And again.

But I just could not shake the sadness I felt for all of the members commenting how much they wished they had similar deals in their states. I knew they were out there. I had seen countless posts asking about certain outlet stores. Those posts usually got nothing but crickets. I saw the need and knew someone needed to fill it. Someone needed to put together a list of home décor outlets by state. But who?

I casually mentioned the idea to several members that had reached out to me throughout my Serena and Lily updating adventures. We needed a group that listed all of the home décor outlets in each state. Every single person loved the idea. I was secretly (desperately!) hoping that they would start it up. No dice. It couldn’t possibly be me. I already labelled myself as a “dirty deleter.” You know, that person that posts something and then deletes it later in a frenzy of insecurity and judgement. No way could I be the one.

Right?

Wrong, apparently. My desire to bring this resource to the community outweighed my own personal hang-ups with putting myself out there. In fact, I felt like pushing myself outside my comfort zone here could potentially provide me with a personal growth opportunity. So, I pulled the trigger and created Home Decor Outlet, Pop-up Sales, and Wholesaler Directory.

So the group was made, but did I have the confidence to advertise it? It probably took me a solid 24 hours before I felt ready to reach out to my favorite admins- the ones that had seen me and my pure intentions with posting over the past few months. I wrote the request emails and hit send.

I was met with honestly the kindest and most supportive responses. It genuinely validated that maybe I was actually on to something. I posted about the group and the group grew. And FAST. One might even say it has exploded. It’s been up and active for two weeks and we are already at 7,000 members with very little advertising being done. (UPDATE: I began writing this post 5 days ago and we just broke 10,000 members!!!!)

I am spending every free moment I have weeding through endless pages or videos that lead to no where and contacting major retailers directly to find all of the outlets in all of the states. Members are very generously offering up outlet suggestions and reviews as well.

Messages and comments started rolling in about how valuable of a resource the list really was. People started sending me pictures of their finds and some interesting stories to go along with it. The group numbers were jumping by the thousands every couple of days. I knew there was even more that I wanted to add to the resources but was feeling a bit limited with the capabilities provided on social media. I want to have complete ownership of my words, and not constantly worry if I would be locked out of Facebook for being a spammer (Fun Fact: This happened THE DAY I posted the group because I was messaging home décor retailers too quickly 🤦🏻‍♀️).

My wheels started turning and little tiny whispers of, “Could this become a blog?” began to surface. I cast the idea out to my best friend over lunch. It seemed crazy. I’m not a blogger. I wouldn’t even say my house is very Pinterest worthy. But I am pretty kick a$$ at saving money and realized I knew more about outlet shopping than many.

Now, you don’t know me that well yet, but I am a big “the universe will tell you” sort of a gal. And I kid you not, later that night, a wonderful group member messaged me out of the blue and encouraged me to start a blog. (Watch my frugal corpse fall to the ground again). So to that person, thank you for the kind words of encouragement.

And now I’m here. Terrified and feeling vulnerable, and questioning if this is even a good idea. I’m the type that finds a lot of comfort in my routines and patterns and this is very outside any of that. But I’m also the type that likes to help people in any way I can, teach those that don’t know what I know, and possibly even use my creativity beyond making DIY Forkies with my kids. That was a Toy Story 4 reference, in case you missed it.

Maybe I’ve been waiting for this and I never even knew it.

So, thank you to everyone that is reading this, or that cheered me on, or that has helped or will help in the future. This is 100% a community-based, share the love sort of a place and I am so glad you are here with me.

Find an outlet near you! Click here: US Outlet-By-State Directory

Can’t get enough of outlet talk? Join the community over on my FREE private Facebook group!

7 thoughts on “How Did I Get Here?

  1. LOVE, LOVE, LOVE!!! You have a special talent. I can’t wait to see what’s next!! ❤️

  2. Next you have to set up a business shopping at the S&L outlets for all of us non-California residents and then arranging for shipping! Seriously.

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